Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Whirlwind Trip

Here I am on the couch again. Something made me check to see if I'd get the "borrowed" wireless signal, and for the first time in a few months, I do.

It's my day off. Haven't accomplished much, except a delicious bacon and egg breakfast, and the dishes have yet to be washed. It's been rainy and dreary most of the afternoon--if you can imagine that--so it's an ideal lazy day. Haven't had a break from work for a week, having worked overtime on Monday.

Some of you may know the events of my quick trip to Iowa last week. I appologize to the rest for keeping you in suspense.

When I arrived at Denver's Union Station at a quarter to seven that Thursday night, I learned from the ticket agent that the train wouldn't be arriving until 11pm. The woman behind me in line heard this and blurted out, "Do trains get that late?" Well, they do when they have to be rerouted through Wyoming due to track maintenance.

I called the family and rescheduled my pickup to Omaha, then strolled around the 16th Street pedestrian mall to kill a few hours. No much happening downtown Denver on a Thursday night, so I went back to the station and pulled out a book.

The train didn't actually arrive until 11:30 and then we didn't set out until 12:15. I was tired enough that sleeping in the coach seat wasn't too uncomfortable.

We pulled into the Omaha station at 10am Friday morning, and Brother was waiting for me on the platform. We faced about an hour's car ride yet to Red Oak, but before we started out, I asked if we could stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart for a bit. We were there no more than half an hour.

The car wouldn't start when we went to leave, and there was nothing in the car for such an occasion: no jumper cables, no tools, nothing. So we called our AAA agent, Kevin Naser, who after having no luck in getting any Omaha business to do a service call, made the trip out from Red Oak with a new battery.

After we got the car up and running, Dad instructed us on an alternate route to avoid a major backup on eastbound I-80. Our detour, however, was undergoing road construction and traffic crawled along. Six and half a dozen, as they say.

So I didn't arrive in Red Oak until 4:30pm Central Daylight Saving Time, nearly 24 hours after I'd started the trip. And Saturday was another three hours in the car to Fort Dodge.

Grandma's dinner was nice. Got to see the extended family--saw them, didn't really get the chance to talk, though. And Sunday morning we visited the family in the cemetery, took Grandma to lunch (for which she stubbornly paid), and even got in a visit to Dad's side of the family, which doesn't happen often. And then it was almost three hours in the car to the depot in Creston.

At least the train was only half an hour late that night.